Why it is So Important that Solange's Album is #1

Last Friday, Solange Knowles released her album, A Seat at the Table, and has since inspired countless people through her melodic empowerment. While you can easily get caught up in the sound, it is the message behind her songs that has been sending waves through the media. Starting with the title, this album makes an important statement about the black experience in America.

Mad ft. Lil Wayne

In the sixth piece of this project, Mad, featuring Lil Wayne, Solange describes the anger that she carries around and how problematic it can be. While she rightfully declares that she has a lot to be mad about, she also says, "but when you carry it along, you find it only getting in the way." In the historical struggle for equality, people find themselves maintaining a certain level of anger that is often questioned. Why are you so mad? Why is it so hard to let it go? Well, how do you let go of micro-aggressions that you have to live with every day?

DON'T YOU WAIT

Solange describes the origin of this song being to friends that she had to let go of, "in order to evolve and heal. These were people...were maybe holding me back from being my greatest self" (Solange, SaintHeron 2016). Following an incident with a journalist who accused her of biting the hand that feeds her after her criticism of the treatment of R&B music, Solange solidifies her position to stand firmly by her beliefs in freedom of expression, no matter who decided they weren't going to support it.

 

Don't Touch My Hair

Another important discussion that has been very prominent in the media is the complexity surrounding hair. On SaintHeron.com, Solange describes how hair has become such a defining part of who we are, and how she has experienced the differences in how she is treated because of the different identities she has by changing her hair.

F.U.B.U. (For Us By Us)

A nod to the message behind the FUBU brand, Solange highlights the importance of having a safe space as a person of color in an oppressive society, especially when it's been going on a thousand years as stated in this song. When discussing this song on SaintHeron.com, she talks about how she admired FUBU for normalizing blackness on a global level. This song is the perfect example of how she approaches these delicate social issues by opening a place for meditation. Her album inspires listeners to exercise thought and reflection on these issues, instead of an argument, and ultimately, heal.

I think that A Seat at the Table for me is an invitation to allow folks to pull up a chair, get very close and have these hard uncomfortable truths be shared. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not going to be fun, you may not get to dance to it, you’re not going to breathe easily through it, but that is the state of the times that we’re in right now. It’s my invitation to actually open up those doors and to have that voice, get messy and lay out my truths and stand firm in them.
— Solange, SaintHeron 2016

Sources: SaintHeron.com